DEPARTMENT OF BOTANY
University of Dhaka
Our vision is to conduct innovative research, teaching and outreach on plants and their environments with special attention to biodiversity and biotechnology. Our mission is to foster an environment of excellence by attracting and supporting the outstanding students, faculty and staff needed to sustain our vision. The department was established with an aim to produce quality graduates through offering BS (Hons), MS, MPhil and PhD degrees. Initially, a three-year BSc (Hons) course was introduced in 1954 since the establishment of the Department of Botany. Over the years, the Department of Botany has grown in every sphere of the botanical disciplines and now has taken a shape one of the largest departments in the University of Dhaka. Considering the needs of global equivalence of its BSc (Hons) degree program, in 1998, the department converted its three year BSc (Hons) degree program to a four year BSc (Hons) degree which continued until 2008. From 2008, onward the name of the degree was changed to BS (Hons) degree. Department of Botany is one of the oldest departments of the University of Dhaka. It is one of the biggest academic units of the university in terms of teaching load and services. Teachings as well as research are provided, in 12 different courses, namely, Plant Taxonomy & Systematics, Microbiology, Phycology & Limnology, Mycology & Plant Pathology, Plant Physiology, Plant Nutrition, Molecular Genetics, Cytogenetics, Plant Breeding & Biotechnology, Biodiversity, Ethnobotany, Ecology & Environment etc. The department is also responsible for some extra-departmental courses for the students of Zoology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Soil, Water and Environment, Microbiology, Geography, etc. Department has a well-established herbarium, botanic garden, a medicinal plant garden, an orchid house and biosafety net house for transgenic research.
At present, there are 26 members of teaching staff and 33 supporting technical and office staffs catering the needs of around 450 students including a number of MPhil and PhD research scholars. The department also offers non major courses for other departments of the University of Dhaka such as Department of Soil, Water and Environment; Department of Zoology and Department Geography and Environment. The number of non-major students is currently around 490. The Department has a long tradition of research in various fields of plant sciences under the MS, MPhil and PhD programs. The faculty members along with their research students pursue research in diverse fields which has resulted in a large number of research publications in various national and international journals. The department is also collaborating academic and research programs with India, Japan, UK, Germany and USA. Since its establishment faculty members had been working to produce trained Botanists in different disciplines to cater the need for the country as well as working for upholding the standard and quality of research in various fields of Botany. Except few newly appointed teachers most of our faculty members earned their Ph.D. degrees from abroad. Many of our colleagues did their post-doctoral research with prestigious fellowships like JSPS and Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH), Commonwealth Fellowship, DAAD, EU, etc. Some of the laboratories have been modestly equipped with modern facilities through the supports from govt. agencies as well as through foreign aided research projects, namely, USAID, JICA, UNESCO, USDA, AvH, TWAS etc. Plant biotechnology research in Bangladesh with tissue culture was first initiated in early eighties by the faculty members of this department with hardly any facilities. This department played a major role in disseminating knowledge of this emerging discipline of applied plant sciences in the country. At the present moment in most of universities and public research institutes have their own plant biotechnology laboratories. For the last few years tissue culture laboratories have also been established in the private sector for its commercial utilization.